Chyna Carrillo would have turned 25 on March 3.
Now her mother says she is going to be celebrating a birthday with an angel in heaven.
Carrillo, whose name was also Chynna Cardena, was a Latinx trans woman who was killed in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania Feb. 18, New Castle News reported. She was beaten to death by a man who was previously imprisoned for killing his wife in 2011. He served eight to 10 years in prison.
New Castle News reported police found 33-year-old Juan Carter Hernandez beating Carrillo with a blunt object. The police ordered him to stop, and when he ignored them, they shot and killed him.
Carrillo was taken to a hospital in Youngstown where she died from her injuries. She was working as a certified nursing assistant at The Grove at New Wilmington, according to New Castle News.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, Carrillo is at least the eighth death of a transgender person in 2021.
Carrillo moved to Pennsylvania from Springdale, Arkansas in hopes of making a positive change, friends and family told the Advocate. The nursing home where she was working was next to the house where she was attacked.
“Whenever I was around Chyna and I knew I was working with her, it just felt like my world would light up,” her friend and former coworker Patrick Irish told Arkansas TV station KNWA.
“Her move to Pennsylvania was supposed to be a new start for her. I was really excited to see that for her, and to see that someone decided it was her time, it’s been so painful,” Irish added.
Lilia Carrillo, Chyna’s mother, said her daughter was afraid to come out as trans.
“She was crying because she didn’t know how I was going to react; she was expecting the worst,” her mother told KNWA. “I looked at her and said don’t ever forget, no matter what, I’m going to love you forever — forever.”
The Pennsylvania State Police and investigators are trying to determine the motive behind the murder. They also placed the officer who shot Hernandez on administrative leave, which is the routine in these types of cases, according to the Advocate.
Other trans or non-conforming individuals who died this year include Tyianna Alexander, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, Dominique Jackson, Fifty Bandz, Alexus Braxton, and Jeffrey “JJ” Bright.